A NEW memorial in Spain marks the death of a soldier from a famous Liverpool family 200 years ago.
Lt Col John Scrope Colquitt, of the elite 1st Regiment of the Foot Guards, died in 1812 in Spain after fighting under the Duke of Wellington against the French in the Peninsula War.
Born in Liverpool in 1775, he was from a renowned 18th century merchant family whose name is marked by Colquitt Street where they lived in the city centre.
He was the son of the town’s bailiff and attended Rugby public school and Trinity College Cambridge, before joining the Foot Guards (now the Grenadier Guards) as an ensign.
The new £8,000 memorial in Alcala de Guadaira marks the site where Lt Col Colquitt was buried and is part of Spain’s commemoration of the Peninsular War’s bicentenary.
Grenadier Guardsman Lance Corp George Vickers, 22, was chosen to sound the Last Post at the new monument for a ceremony to which Lt Col Colquitt’s relatives from Britain, local historians, dignitaries and other guardsmen were invited.
Among them was psychologist and author Sam Westmacott, who is Lt Col Colquitt’s cousin five times removed.
She only discovered this link when a local historian investigating his story contacted her.
The monument is located in an area called La Cruz del Ingles (the Englishman’s Cross), after the cross which once stood over Lt Col Colquitt’s grave.
The Peninsular War pitted the allied nations of Britain, Spain and Portugal against Napoleonic France’s imperial expansion, from 1808 to 1814.
John Colquitt died of fever in either Seville or nearby Utrera, on September 4, 1812, after fighting Napoleon’s troops in temperatures of 40C, according to historian Richard Daglish, of Mossley Hill.
The reason for Lt Col Colquitt being buried in Alcala de Guadaira only recently emerged.
He fought the French in liberating Cadiz and led his men into battle in Seville on April 27, 1812.
After his death a few days later, his battalion carried their 37-year-old leader’s remains to Alcala de Guadaira, where they were stationed.
Refused permission to bury him in the town’s cemetery as he was an Anglican “heathen”, they offered a stone cross as a burial site on a hill outside the town.
Mr Daglish said: “We’ve failed to find a portrait of Lt Col Colquitt, but discovered he was born in Norris Green, which was then deep in the country.
“The last Liverpool family member was Miss Susan Colquitt, who endowed Christ Church, Kensington, before her death in 1867. Other branches of the family moved to Gloucestershire.”
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